He was not even looking at him, "Now what's the right
thing one time, that thing the next time is wrong. It's in
the Bible that way, and the Stagirite. If I peruse him aright.
Yes, sir, there is a time. For one thing and another. And a
man never knows what he'll find in himself when the time
comes." Suddenly he jerked himself forward, toward Mr.
Munn, with that same viper-like thrust as when he had spat,
but now his whole attenuated body partook of the motion,
and he pointed his arm at Mr. Munn, shaking the long,
knobby bandage of his forefinger. "And now's the time.
Now. Before that case ever gets to a jury. Now." The long,
bandaged finger flickered and came to rest pointed at Mr.
Munn's chest, like a loaded pistol. " There's trouble in the
air and in the hearts of men now, this minute. You won't be
making the trouble. There's been trouble in Hunter County,
and there'll be worse. You won't be making it, but you'll be
making it mean something. You can't stop it. It's coming.
You can't stop the mountain torrent, but you can make it
feed the fruitful plain and not waste itself."
"Hell, no, you didn't make the trouble"—Mr. Christian
lunged to his feet again, "That bastard Tolliver made it,
and all those bastards behind him, whose names I don't
know, but, by God! I wish I did so I could say 'em over every
night. Tolliver and Tolliver's kind. And don't tell me
you're gonna sit there right now and suck right along with
him. Like you did My God!"
Before he went to bed that night, Mr. Munn agreed to join
the Free Farmers' Brotherhood of Protection and Control.
Before he finally said, " Yes, I'm with you, I reckon," he knew
that he would do it. He resisted their arguments, and
resisted the impulse that grew within himself, clinging to the
present with that blind instinct that opposes even desired and
expected change and makes a man linger even at the moment
when he escapes from an unhappy, though accustomed, scene;
or dinging to it that the delay might make all the sweeter his
acquiescence, all the greater his relief when he should make
the final plunge into certainty. He said, " Yes, I'm with you,